North Dakota Petroleum Council Donates $10,000 to Mule Deer Foundation September 23, 2016

North Dakota Deer Population, Management News and Information Archive

Bismarck, ND: Earlier this week during their 35th Annual Meeting, the North Dakota Petroleum Council presented a check for $10,000 to Mule Deer Foundation (MDF) Regional Director Marshall Johnson to support MDF’s efforts to restore mule deer habitat on a private ranch near Beach, North Dakota. MDF worked closely with the North Dakota Game and Fish Department (NDGF), conservation partners, and rancher Byron Richards to enroll 22,000 contiguous acres in North Dakota’s Private Lands Open to Sportsmen (PLOTS) program and to coordinate habitat restoration projects on the ranch. The NDPC funding augmented a grant that MDF received through the Outdoor Heritage Foundation (funded through revenues from oil and gas production tax revenues) as well as additional contributions from conservation organizations, volunteer labor, and in-kind donations from the local community.
 
“This gift from the North Dakota Petroleum Council will be a great help in our efforts to rehabilitate this critical habitat and open more land up to sportsmen and women,” said Johnson. “We realized many years ago that achieving our conservation goals requires partners, and we made it a point to work with landowners, ranchers and farmers, the energy industry, and others to identify and develop projects such as this. The result has been nothing short of a win-win-win for all parties as these projects come to fruition.”
 
In 2015, the Mule Deer Foundation was awarded a $480,000 Outdoor Heritage Foundation grant for its Western North Dakota Habitat Enhancement Program to work with landowners that are enrolled or willing to enroll their property into PLOTS to improve, enhance, or rehabilitate habitat. The Byron Richards Ranch is the third project MDF has initiated since the grant was approved and it is the largest single tract ever enrolled in the PLOTS program. The National Wild Turkey Federation, Pheasants Forever, and Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation pooled together $145,000 in funding that supported the 10-year access agreement on the property that had never before been open to the public.
 
MDF’s priority was coordinating the on-the-ground restoration efforts on the ranch to benefit mule deer as well as elk, turkeys, pheasants, grouse, antelope, and more. During a July work weekend on the ranch, MDF volunteers removed old barbed wire fencing and replaced it with wildlife friendly fencing, pulled fence posts, collected debris, and removed No Trespass/No Hunting signs. In addition to the NDPC funding, monetary and in-kind donations for MDF’s habitat restoration efforts were made by Doosan/Bobcat, Hess Corporation, JMAC, and XTO Energy.
 
“We’re excited to be a partner in this historic project,” said Ron Ness, president of the NDPC. “Many of us in the industry cherish our hunting heritage and traditions. The work by the Mule Deer Foundation and the generous use of land on behalf of the landowner show that ag, energy, and conservation can coexist, and we can all work together to improve and preserve habitat and our traditions for future generations, all while developing our rich natural resources.”
 
 
 
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About MDF 
The Mule Deer Foundation is the only conservation group in North America dedicated to restoring, improving and protecting mule deer and black-tailed deer and their habitat, with a focus on science and program efficiency. MDF is a strong voice for hunters in access, wildlife management and conservation policy issues. MDF acknowledges regulated hunting as a viable management component and is committed to recruitment and retention of youth into the shooting sports and conservation. Get involved at www.muledeer.org or call 1-888-375-3337.



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